TAKE THAT! Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney smashes the prosecution!

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The wait for character #4 has been very interesting for sure. I was at EVO in person this year, and all I could think about when Smash Ultimate top 8 started was how hype the crowd could've been if a new character was announced. I've been listening to Ace Attorney music every morning for the past few months to get me excited for the possibility of Phoenix Wright in Smash, and I can't stop thinking about how happy I would be if he finally got announced soon. I agree with Sonsa Sonsa in regards to Phoenix Wright being announced near TGS in a September Direct, it makes a lot of sense and would be a great way to promote a potential Ace Attorney 7. Ace Attorney is in a similar situation to Dragon Quest, where it's very popular in Japan, but not as mainstream outside of it. I really hope Phoenix Wright is added as a fighter. I'll accept any other Capcom character, but Phoenix Wright just makes way too much sense to me. In my heart, he is already a Smash Brother, just like King K. Rool was before he was revealed exactly a year ago.
 
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Tsk people forgetting that he is in TWO fighting games.

Project X Zone 2 represent
Wasn't he more of an assist in that game though?

I'm actually curious about X Zone. Originally, I just saw the Namco vs Capcom style of field gameplay and lost my interest, without looking up much else. People say good things about X and X 2. Is it any good?
 

Leotsune

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Everyone, here is your standard "Phoenix in a fighting game" video for the day in case you haven't watched yours yet.

I swear to gog, Pheonix's super is the coolest thing in all UMvC3.
Also, the moveset argument some people make is the dumbest "rule/opinion" ever in Smash speculation, I don't think any of those people could've created a working moveset for characters like Duck Hunt, Isabelle, R.O.B.
 
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Wasn't he more of an assist in that game though?

I'm actually curious about X Zone. Originally, I just saw the Namco vs Capcom style of field gameplay and lost my interest, without looking up much else. People say good things about X and X 2. Is it any good?
The first X zone isn't anything to write home about. Lots of sexual gags and really no plot at all, things just happen.

The second one though, while the plot isn't something amazing, it's still an enjoyable one and it's cool to see the Sega, Namco, Capcom and Nintendo characters interacting with each other.

Phoenix and Maya's lines of dialogue especially are some of my favorites. Like when paired up with Strider and Hotsuma Maya says something "Where are your brights red guitars? Don't all ninjas have those?" And Strider responds with "...I fail to see the combat utility of that."
 

Sonsa

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Yeah there's a lot of fun interactions, I love the one Maya has with Lucina and Chrom! And Phoenix, despite only being an assist character, gets a lot of attention in the story since everyone differs to him when fighting isn't the answer to something! If Street Fighters or Yakuza can't punch something, they look to Phoenix and he points everyone in the right direction, calls out true villains, there's even...! Mm...well I shouldn't ruin it... I guess I'll put it as a spoiler in case!
There's even a part where Valkarye from Namco, who I guess is some kind of goddess, asks Phoenix to figure something out, and he gets nervous like "Well, I mean...ha, uhh we don't even have a courtroom so I dunno" so she straight up summons a courtroom for him and all the other characters are just waiting around like "You got this Phoenix!" the spotlight is completely on Phoenix as everyone is ready to take a break and watch Phoenix do his thing haha
 
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The first X zone isn't anything to write home about. Lots of sexual gags and really no plot at all, things just happen.

The second one though, while the plot isn't something amazing, it's still an enjoyable one and it's cool to see the Sega, Namco, Capcom and Nintendo characters interacting with each other.

Phoenix and Maya's lines of dialogue especially are some of my favorites. Like when paired up with Strider and Hotsuma Maya says something "Where are your brights red guitars? Don't all ninjas have those?" And Strider responds with "...I fail to see the combat utility of that."
Also, mad scientist OC gal.

The only downside is the bizarre aversion to cartoony-looking characters (anyone that's not humanoid-looking enough). You got Mokujin, and that's it. Tron Bonne didn't even come back with her Servbots. Anyone that complains about Smash having too many anime characters, you just point at this game to them.

Tsk people forgetting that he is in TWO fighting games.

Project X Zone 2 represent
That's a really weird way to label a strategy-RPG in which people take turns juggling each other. :4pacman:
 
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Also, mad scientist OC gal.

The only downside is the bizarre aversion to cartoony-looking characters (anyone that's not humanoid-looking enough). You got Mokujin, and that's it. Tron Bonne didn't even come back with her Servbots. Anyone that complains about Smash having too many anime characters, you just point at this game to them.



That's a really weird way to label a strategy-RPG in which people take turns juggling each other. :4pacman:
I'm more annoyed at the lack of non human party members, Namco X Capcom had Klonoa and Guntz as a pair unit. I wish they came back to the roster, maybe bring Sonic to represent Sega and have these three animal guys team up.
 
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I'm more annoyed at the lack of non human party members, Namco X Capcom had Klonoa and Guntz as a pair unit. I wish they came back to the roster, maybe bring Sonic to represent Sega and have these three animal guys team up.
Yeah, that's part of the issue. I'm annoyed about that too.

But nah, gotta have anime, who needs mascots? Bizarrely enough, the only Nintendo property in here is Fire Emblem, even though Zelda has plenty of humanoid characters.

Anyway, NL's DS poll has ended recently, and not one but THREE Takumi games made it in the Top 10: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/08/feature_best_nintendo_ds_games
 
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Sonsa

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Yeah, that's part of the issue. I'm annoyed about that too.

But nah, gotta have anime, who needs mascots? Bizarrely enough, the only Nintendo property in here is Fire Emblem, even though Zelda has plenty of humanoid characters.

Anyway, NL's DS poll has ended recently, and not one but THREE Takumi games made it in the Top 10: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/08/feature_best_nintendo_ds_games
Ayy, nah, Justice For All, Ace Attorney, Trials and Tribulations, AND Ghost Trick are on! Justice for All being the only one not in the top 10, wow! Kinda sad Apollo Justice isn't here, but I guess it can sorta make sense, while its case 1 and 4 are really cool, I can understand people being confused by 4's...uhh, pacing or everything? And Case 3 tells you who the killer is ahead of time and has some clunky parts, I guess I'm saying that while Ace Attorney 4 is really great, I can understand why non-hardcore people found it clunky and confusing.

Oh, and fun faaact, Lucina and Chrom aren't the only Nintendo guests! You go to their world and meet up with Naga I think? Juri's tryna kidnap some Fire Emblem dragon person? But there's also someone from Xenoblade! Fiora I thiiink? Phoenix has a conversation with her where they talk about seeing into the future with visions and Phoenix is like "Ohh, that'd help..."
 
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Oh, and fun faaact, Lucina and Chrom aren't the only Nintendo guests! You go to their world and meet up with Naga I think? Juri's tryna kidnap some Fire Emblem dragon person? But there's also someone from Xenoblade! Fiora I thiiink? Phoenix has a conversation with her where they talk about seeing into the future with visions and Phoenix is like "Ohh, that'd help..."
Oh yeah, forgot about Xenoblade. But yeah, even then, they're here mainly due to the link to Monolith Soft and Xenosaga...
 
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I love that Phoenix line when he hears about the Monado, comes across as eerie foreshadowing to his later years. lol

I also love Chrom's dialogue in this.

Chrom: "Hello fellow warrior, how does it hang?"
Ryo: ..."what?"
And Lucina responds with embarrassement.

And when Maya is paired up with them the pre battle line is something like.

Maya: Woah Lucina, your dad looks so ypung! I'm so jealous!
Lucina: it is rather impressive, having to run a grand militia, a kingdom and fight in war and still have his youthful glow.
Chrom: ...Ladies I'm not that old.
 

Sonsa

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Yeah ha!
Maya "He looks so young!"
Chrom "I am young..."
Lucina "I know, my dad is so great!"
Chrom "There was time travel..."
Lots of fun stuff! Never played myself, but took a peek for some fun Phoenix and Maya interactions!
phoenix dont wanna defen bison.png

And ahh, it was Tiki that Juri was tryna kidnap! So fun to me that Juri just hopped into Fire Emblem Awakening and tried to snatch her up haha
 
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One of my favorite chapters in the game is when they are in the Xenoblade world, go into the ocean, some stuff happens and suddenly it's an Ace attorney trial where Phoenix defends Valkirie from Adventure of the Valkirie, and Sigma from Mega man x is a witness. It's hilarious.

This game also really made me want an official ace attorney yakuza crossover since this game says that Phoenix defended Majima at one point before the events of this game, I want to see that trial.
 
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GoodGrief741

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Yeah there's a lot of fun interactions, I love the one Maya has with Lucina and Chrom! And Phoenix, despite only being an assist character, gets a lot of attention in the story since everyone differs to him when fighting isn't the answer to something! If Street Fighters or Yakuza can't punch something, they look to Phoenix and he points everyone in the right direction, calls out true villains, there's even...! Mm...well I shouldn't ruin it... I guess I'll put it as a spoiler in case!
There's even a part where Valkarye from Namco, who I guess is some kind of goddess, asks Phoenix to figure something out, and he gets nervous like "Well, I mean...ha, uhh we don't even have a courtroom so I dunno" so she straight up summons a courtroom for him and all the other characters are just waiting around like "You got this Phoenix!" the spotlight is completely on Phoenix as everyone is ready to take a break and watch Phoenix do his thing haha
Man, this sounds awesome! Maybe I should check out PXZ...
 

Flyboy

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Seriously!!! You guys have to acknowledge the REAL 1st CROSS (X) game: Namco x Capcom.
If you never heard about it it's because the game never left Japan
I LOVE this game - I've never played it but it always fascinated me as a kid because you could play as Tron Bonne and I always had this iteration of her in my MUGEN builds.
 
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Seriously!!! You guys have to acknowledge the REAL 1st CROSS (X) game: Namco x Capcom.
If you never heard about it it's because the game never left Japan
Which is weird, seeing as there was no reason for it whatsoever beyond Namco being in their "screw over their Western audience" phase. At least there's a fan translation.
 
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All this talk about the cross series reminds me of how much i want it's protagonist Reiji to join smash, he would fit right in just due to how this whole franchise is based around one big crossover between Namco, Capcom, Sega and Nintendo, like Smash bros is.

Also I love how this series is canonically linked to the Super robot wars series, this means that we have a game universe where Fire Emblem, Ace attorney, Street fighter, Zoids, Gurren lagan and Gao gai gar co exist with one another, that's freaking insane.
 

Ace C.R.O.S.S.

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All this talk about the cross series reminds me of how much i want it's protagonist Reiji to join smash, he would fit right in just due to how this whole franchise is based around one big crossover between Namco, Capcom, Sega and Nintendo, like Smash bros is.

Also I love how this series is canonically linked to the Super robot wars series, this means that we have a game universe where Fire Emblem, Ace attorney, Street fighter, Zoids, Gurren lagan and Gao gai gar co exist with one another, that's freaking insane.
Oh my...!!!! I want him in Smash too, but i thought i was the only one!!!
 

fogbadge

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so i had a go at making a moveset for nick, end result, iconic animations, pulling out random objects, help from unseen characters and a lot of shouting. it very odd

Jab: pats paper
Forward tilt: ducks avoiding sword swipe
Up tilt: dodges in coming coffee mug
Down tilt: jumps back avoiding whip

Side smash: points (naturally)
Up smash: step ladder (couldn’t resist)
Down smash: slamming desk animation

Neutral air: circled by cursor from investigating scenes
Forward air: throws magatama
Back air: throws magatama behind him
Up air: points upwards
Down air: points downwards

Pummel: jabs with finger
Forward throw: strikes with metal detector
Back throw: throws into shattering psycelock
Up throw: upwards strike with metal detector
Down throw: strikes with elbows, similar to despair animation

Dash: trips over

Neutral special: yells “objection” summoning the icon bubble, delivering a powerful blow
Side special: yells “take that” throwing a piece of evidence in the form a square image as in games
Up special: sneezes himself upwards
Down special: yells “hold it” briefly stunning foes

Final smash: Break Down, summons ball of light in front of him, trapped foes are transported to the courtroom, nick says “the guilty party is you!” points dealing damage, everyone returns to stage foes are launched

On screen entrance: walks through courtroom doors

Up taunt: rubs back of head and laughs nervously
Side taunt: hands on sides looks smug
Down taunt: sweat animation

Victory 1: strikes a smug pose as confetti rains down saying “the defence rests your honour”
Victory 2: rubs his facing pondering before pointing at the screen, says “I can always find a way”
Victory 3: rubs back of head laughing and says “another rise from the ashes”
 
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I've heard it's because of some Namco characters that were "too obscure" for us.
Which is a bull excuse, seeing as PXZ also has characters that one would deem "too obscure". The sequel even has Segata mother****ing Sanshiro.

All this talk about the cross series reminds me of how much i want it's protagonist Reiji to join smash, he would fit right in just due to how this whole franchise is based around one big crossover between Namco, Capcom, Sega and Nintendo, like Smash bros is.

Also I love how this series is canonically linked to the Super robot wars series, this means that we have a game universe where Fire Emblem, Ace attorney, Street fighter, Zoids, Gurren lagan and Gao gai gar co exist with one another, that's freaking insane.
The only issue is that he doesn't have too much support. That'll need to be rectified over time. And with any luck Xiaomu would accompany him in some way.
 
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so i had a go at making a moveset for nick, end result, iconic animations, pulling out random objects, help from unseen characters and a lot of shouting. it very odd

Jab: pats paper
Forward tilt: ducks avoiding sword swipe
Up tilt: dodges in coming coffee mug
Down tilt: jumps back avoiding whip

Side smash: points (naturally)
Up smash: step ladder (couldn’t resist)
Down smash: slamming desk animation

Neutral air: circled by cursor from investigating scenes
Forward air: throws magatama
Back air: throws magatama behind him
Up air: points upwards
Down air: points downwards

Pummel: jabs with finger
Forward throw: strikes with metal detector
Back throw: throws into shattering psycelock
Up throw: upwards strike with metal detector
Down throw: strikes with elbows, similar to despair animation

Dash: trips over

Neutral special: yells “objection” summoning the icon bubble, delivering a powerful blow
Side special: yells “take that” throwing a piece of evidence in the form a square image as in games
Up special: sneezes himself upwards
Down special: yells “hold it” briefly stunning foes

Final smash: Break Down, summons ball of light in front of him, trapped foes are transported to the courtroom, nick says “the guilty party is you!” points dealing damage, everyone returns to stage foes are launched

On screen entrance: walks through courtroom doors

Up taunt: rubs back of head and laughs nervously
Side taunt: hands on sides looks smug
Down taunt: sweat animation

Victory 1: strikes a smug pose as confetti rains down saying “the defence rests your honour”
Victory 2: rubs his facing pondering before pointing at the screen, says “I can always find a way”
Victory 3: rubs back of head laughing and says “another rise from the ashes”
Cool moveset! I must say I feel a distinct lack of Maya in it, but otherwise I feel it's really true to character.

Ah, let me share a quick moveset gimmick idea with you guys: I was thinking of a similar "passive" as in MvC3, but with Investigation and Trial modes condensed into one for practical purposes. Turnabout would be activated in a similar way, but its effects would depend on whatever pieces of evidence you have, instead of the evidence giving you blue fire projectiles (the pointed finger would still be there though).

This makes his gameplay less complicated than in Marvel (at least in terms of execution), but keeps that tactical thinking, high-risk-high-reward playstyle that favours consecutive good decisions from the player. What do you guys think?
 

Wyoming

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I think Maya coming with Phoenix is key. I don't think she'd be as involved in Smash as she is in Marvel, but considering Peach can have a character pop out of thin air all the time I don't see this as an issue anymore (if it ever was? some people might have thought so)

But Phoenix pretty much rarely does solve a case on his own. He has Maya, Edgeworth, Apollo, or Gumshoe's help. Maya's the only one that could fight alongside him as an duo, though.

I think she should help him in the recovery (despite me liking Mr. Hat more as an idea) and possibly one other special move, otherwise she's there in the victory screen and maybe the taunts. I think Brawlfan had the right idea giving Maya the role of having Phoenix's more defensive moves. It references his friends trying to give him a boost from a very bleak situation.
 
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Korar

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I really want a winston payne spirit battle for some reason.

I imagine he would probably be possessing phoenix, and would never attack and just run away, while other fighters representing the first three culprits from the original trilogy would appear throughout the battle and actually fight you.

For some reason, this idea has stuck in my head more than any other one i have had for AA stuff i want in smash.
 
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I really want a winston payne spirit battle for some reason.

I imagine he would probably be possessing phoenix, and would never attack and just run away, while other fighters representing the first three culprits from the original trilogy would appear throughout the battle and actually fight you.

For some reason, this idea has stuck in my head more than any other one i have had for AA stuff i want in smash.
I love this idea.
 

Northadox

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I really want a winston payne spirit battle for some reason.

I imagine he would probably be possessing phoenix, and would never attack and just run away, while other fighters representing the first three culprits from the original trilogy would appear throughout the battle and actually fight you.

For some reason, this idea has stuck in my head more than any other one i have had for AA stuff i want in smash.
Pretty good idea.
Sahwit would be Villager, who would bludgeon you with bowling balls, Wellington would be DK, as he loves large bananas, and Dahlia would be Peach using her parasol.
 
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Here's why I asked to be added to the support list. Enjoy everyone! :^)
In Defense of Phoenix Wright

Hello. Long time no see. This post is the fifth in a line of speculation posts by yours truly. Similar to my Definitive Case for Lloyd, in this post I will be arguing for Phoenix Wright's inclusion as one of the Fighter Pass characters. While he's already a popular speculation pick, I feel the need to stand up for him in light of speculation trending more towards other Capcom franchises. Let's jump into the argument:

  • As always, I'll check my bias at the door. I've played through the first Phoenix Wright game and a bit of the second, but I don't possess any serious attachment to the series. I don't really have much bias to check; this is really just speculation for speculation's sake. I wanted to do something like this for my scrapped RTC In-depth series and in an unannounced Capcom character argument essay, but I digress. I guess you could say that this has been a long time coming.
  • I will acknowledge that this post is somewhat of a counterargument to Scoliosis Jones Scoliosis Jones ' Smash Ultimate Newcomers: Capcom post, wherein I believe he undersells the Ace Attorney franchise and its chances to be included in Smash. Before this post gets taken down for flaming or harassment, I'd like to make it known that I respect both Jones and his writing. In writing this post I intend not to take down or criticize his post so much as it is to add discourse to the discussion on Capcom characters in the Fighters Pass. As such, this is the only place I'll be referencing his article. I debated not including this mention at all, but I always like to talk about my inspirations in writing so I decided to do so. If asked to do so by moderation I will remove this mention.
I think the better question is "Why not a Capcom Character?"

Relations between Capcom and Nintendo have been great since the NES era (outside of a stint during the N64-Gamecube Era where they favored Playstation). The entire Mega Man series outside of 9, X4-X8, Legends (though Legends 1 was ported to N64), and some spin-offs either released first or are exclusive to Nintendo systems. Street Fighter was there to support both the 3DS and the Switch in their launch windows. Up until Monster Hunter World, all of the major Monster Hunter releases, Tri, 3 Ultimate, and 4, were on Nintendo systems. Resident Evil, while never as prominent, showed up exclusively on the 3DS in the form of Resident Evil Revelations and The Mercenaries 3D (I’m purposefully refraining to mention the Gamecube “exclusivity” of Resident Evil 4 as a positive given the controversy of it and the Capcom Five, which actually worsened relations between Nintendo and Capcom), and is in the middle of a veritable renaissance with Nintendo, with the remake of the original, Resident Evil 0, 4, 5, 6, Revelations, and Revelations 2 all being available on the Nintendo Switch. This isn’t mentioning other notable Capcom releases on Nintendo systems (such as Okami for the Wii, which I believe was considered the best version before the Nintendo Switch release), which would fill up the bulk of this essay if included. Nintendo has even trusted Capcom to handle the development of major editions to the Legend of Zelda franchise in the past, such as the Oracle of Ages/Seasons, Minish Cap, and Four Swords GBA games. This is notable since, prior to the modern age, Nintendo never gave their IPs to anyone besides a trusted few. For Capcom to be included among these shows the strong trust shared between the two companies.

When it comes to Smash, Capcom has the most representation for a third party company in Smash Bros., having three of their series represented. Within that, they have three characters (2 unique, 1 echo), 3 assist trophies, 2 stages, and a boss character. While one might argue Sega has more representation since they have 3 unique characters and 3 stages, I believe the fact that Capcom has a boss character that prominently appears in the World of Light campaign is better. Moreover, Sega has 3 unique characters and 3 stages with DLC. Discussing base game, Capcom clearly has more, and with DLC (which we're assuming) Capcom would again have the most representation.

Capcom characters and series always seem to be entangled with others in some way. The Capcom vs. series of games has been ongoing since 1996's X-Men vs. Street Fighter, and has seen Capcom characters facing off against characters from Marvel, SNK, and Tatsunoko among other companies. Namco x Capcom and its successor, the Project X Zone series, saw Capcom characters appearing alongside Namco and Namco, Sega, and Nintendo characters respectively. Street Fighter X Tekken was a result of Capcom and Namco's previous work on collaborations like Namco x Capcom, and saw characters from the popular series Street Fighter and Tekken face off against one another. Phoenix Wright notably faced off against/worked alongside Professor Layton in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which brought the two popular DS puzzle series together. I could go on and on about Capcom characters appearing in crossovers or collaborations (Dante in Shin Megami Tensei 3: Noctune, Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2, and Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale among others comes to mind), but I think I've sufficiently proven by now that Capcom has a known history of collaboration, and would certainly not hesitate to work with Nintendo on a Fighters Pass character for Smash.

Furthering the point of Capcom and collaboration, Sakurai has stated in the past how easy it was to work with Capcom in regards to Mega Man. In an interview with Polygon, he stated:
Sakurai said:
"We approached Capcom with the idea and they were very favorable and open to it...The approval process, in terms of how we're representing Mega Man, was actually really smooth and went really quickly."
Sakurai often talks about how difficult it is to integrate third party characters into Smash given the many parties involved, yet Capcom seems to be an exception in this regard. Using Mega Man as a microcosm for Capcom’s stance on working with Sakurai and the Smash Bros. team, we can see how open and easy to work with they are. Mega Man shows up in the most amount of CG trailers for a third party character, appearing in his own, Bowser Jr.’s, and Ridley’s as recent as 2018, and he is the only third party veteran to appear in a CG trailer. What is notable about Mega Man showing up in Ridley’s trailer is that Sakurai had to write the script for the trailer and Capcom had to approve the use of Mega Man in it, wherein he and Mario essentially die (they even joked about it on the US Mega Man Twitter). For Capcom to allow Sakurai and his team such freedom as recent as Ultimate shows a level of trust not necessarily given to them by other third parties. If obtaining the approval to kill off Mega Man is as easy as it is to negotiate with them for the inclusion of Capcom characters in Smash, then including a Capcom character as a part of the Fighters Pass would be a strategic decision to generate a large amount of hype while minimizing any challenges with negotiations and oversight during development.

While it may or may not be a point in favor of a Capcom character, Capcom does have a precedent for Smash DLC, being Ryu in Sm4sh. Therefore, they've already gone through DLC negotiations with Nintendo in the past; it would be easier for Nintendo to approach them given their past business history compared to a company they haven't worked with in the past. The only other third party who have a similar precedent are Sega and Square Enix, with Bayonetta and Cloud in Sm4sh. It just so happens that Sega and Square Enix both have characters in the Fighters Pass, being Joker and Hero respectively. This may just be me seeing a pattern where one doesn’t exist, and I ask that you take this with a grain of salt. However, it is worth mentioning nonetheless.

Adding a Capcom character would be an effective way to generate a large amount of hype without a lot of risk or challenge on the part of Nintendo. So, with the question of “Why a Capcom Character” answered, we now shift to:
I refrained from mentioning Phoenix Wright when discussing prevalent titles on Nintendo systems since it made more sense to discuss it here. Ace Attorney is the closest Capcom property to Nintendo since the original Mega Man series with the NES and SNES, with every game in the series debuting prominently on a Nintendo handheld. While association with Nintendo isn’t as strong a reason for a character’s inclusion as it was during the Brawl or Sm4sh days, it certainly doesn’t hurt for any prospective character to have strong ties to Nintendo in some way. Even Joker and Cloud can have their inclusions justified via their connections to the Shin Megami Tensei and Final Fantasy series respectively, both of which have a strong history with Nintendo.

Besides having a strong tie to Nintendo systems, I would argue that Ace Attorney is Capcom’s most accessible franchise due to the number of ports it has received (While some might claim that later ports of the series detract from the series’ ties with Nintendo, the earlier ports probably helped draw people towards Nintendo consoles before other games in the series were ported to other platforms). The entire main series is available on 3DS, iOS, and Android* (*in Japan only), the later games in the series, 4-6, are available on Android internationally, and the first three games are available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, with the most recent ports also receiving language patches for the French, German, Korean, and Chinese (both traditional and simplified language). The Ace Attorney franchise has a very large potential audience, and Capcom has a lot to gain by including Phoenix Wright in Smash given that Smash is known to have an advertising effect for the franchises included. Compared to series like Monster Hunter or Resident Evil where the series is housed primarily on or scattered across other consoles that a consumer may or may not have, pretty much anyone has the entire Phoenix Wright series available for them to purchase and play at any time between PC, console, handhelds, and smartphones. There is a large potential for profit via Phoenix Wright’s inclusion, and even considering just the bottom line his inclusion is justified.

Given the Ace Attorney series’ strong ties to Nintendo, it’s not hard to believe that Phoenix Wright is a moderately popular pick for Smash Bros. speculation. While never as prominent as other speculation picks, Phoenix’s popularity has seen a surge in light of Mega Man and Ryu’s inclusions. This is most apparent during the ballot era, wherein Phoenix’s fanbase among others rallied together to vote for him. While I’m not one to cite fan polls, I do believe that the Reddit Randomized Smash Ultimate Poll, wherein Phoenix Wright placed 8th with a total of 8,398 votes, is trustworthy enough given the large amount of votes it received. This means that we can apply the Law of Large Numbers and say that it’s closer to the results of the real ballot than other fan polls (albeit, the “over 50,000+ votes by 20,000 unique participants” pales in comparison to the 1.8 million votes the official ballot received). What’s notable about the Reddit Randomized Smash Ultimate Poll is the influence of outside voters. Poll organizer SmashUltimateTourny had this to say:
SmashUltimateTourny said:
The characters with the most brigaders were Sora (more than half his voters came from non-reddit referrers) and Phoenix Wright (a third of his voters came from non-reddit referrers).
What’s notable is that not only were core Smash Bros. fans voting for him, but also fans from outside of the core fanbase. I believe that a strong part of Phoenix Wright’s appeal is his capability to appeal to both core and casual fans. I’ve already laid out the Ace Attorney’s strong ties to Nintendo, which leads core fans to support him, but it’s also worth noting the large appeal of the DS and games like Ace Attorney to the casual fanbase. Puzzle and logic games such as Ace Attorney and Professor Layton were popular among casual fans due to their small, bite sized puzzles. This still holds true, and with the aforementioned accessibility of the series, I would say that there is a strong casual fanbase that would be interested in Phoenix’s inclusion dating back to the GBA/DS era. I’ve previously spoken about the power of the silent majority compared to the “Smash Bubble” (refer to The Case for Minecraft Steve and the "Smash Bubble" Effect Section: “What is the ‘Smash Bubble?’”), but I believe that Phoenix has a strong enough presence in both to justify the claim that including him would appeal to both core and casual fans, giving Phoenix’s inclusion a universal appeal to it.

While Sakurai certainly hasn’t written about Ace Attorney as much as he wrote about Persona 5, he actually did notably write about it in a 2005 Famitsu column, wherein he describes the enjoyment he and others go out of video presentation using the game’s layout at the 2005 Tokyo Game Show, which encapsulates the name of the article “Games That Make Me Want to Watch.” At the very least this shows that the Ace Attorney series is on Sakurai’s radar, and has been for over a decade now. I would be quite surprised if Sakurai weren’t acquainted with the series given its popularity in Japan.

No good defense is truly complete without addressing the common arguments against what you’re defending. Therefore, I’d like to go over the common arguments against Phoenix Wright’s inclusion and counter them accordingly.

To start, I’d like to address a common critique of Phoenix Wright, being the difficulty it would take to come up with a moveset for him. It’s not all too difficult to come up with a moveset for Phoenix Wright. One can look to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and see how he was faithfully adapted there, or consider the fact that Sakurai and his team have come up with movesets for:
  • A pilot who was never shown fighting at the time of moveset conception (:ultfox:)
  • A racer who was never shown except on the character select screen for his game (:ultfalcon:)
  • A scattered collection of portable game players (:ultgnw:)
  • A literal children’s toy whose only function was to pick up and spin tops (:ultrob:)
  • Multiple characters whose games weren’t even released at the time of moveset conception (:ultroy::ultlucas::ultgreninja::ultincineroar:)
  • Multiple noncombatants (:ulticeclimbers::ultvillager::ultvillagerf::ultbrawler::ultgunner::ultswordfighter::ultisabelle:)
  • A fitness trainer (:ultwiifittrainer:)
  • And a Dog that laughs at you (:ultduckhunt:) among other characters
The only time characters are turned down on the basis of moveset is when faithful representation of the character is incompatible with the format Smash Bros., such as in the case of Heihachi where (presumably) adapting the movement/controls of Tekken conflicted with the movement and controls of Smash Bros. Sakurai has previously adapted similar noncombatants to Smash, so I have no doubt he could adapt Phoenix Wright.

Another common argument leveraged against Phoenix Wright and the Ace Attorney series is a lack of relevance compared to other Capcom franchises. I believe that sentiment comes from a lack of understanding. The Ace Attorney franchise is a multimedia franchise that spans games, manga, an anime series (the second season of which received a simuldub from Funimation), drama cds, soundtracks, memorabilia, a series of stage plays, and a feature-length film. The series is still active despite what some think, with the Ace Attorney Trilogy being brought to consoles and PCs last February and a Nazo Tomo Cafe promotion currently ongoing until December. The series has even seen references in other media, such as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and No Game No Life. There is also the potential of a new reveal at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show, given that is where Ace Attorney information is typically revealed. A new reveal would bring the series into the limelight that some think it isn’t already in.

Alongside a lack of relevance, I sometimes see a lack of sales compared to other Capcom franchises used to justify other characters over Phoenix. To start, Phoenix Wright isn't in trouble when it comes to sales, selling 7.1 million units over 30 games as of June 30th, 2019. While certainly not as high as other series, there is a precedent for sales being disregarded or weighed lower in favor of other factors for a character's inclusion. I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine:
smash_bros_banjo_kazooie.jpg
In a period of speculation marked by a wave of cynicism and belief that the Fighters Pass would be full of sheer promotional picks, Banjo & Kazooie’s inclusion was a breath of fresh air; proof that Nintendo was listening to the fans even just a little. Compared to the sales giant that Minecraft is, the Banjo Kazooie sold very little, yet Banjo was included over Steve. Banjo is proof of Nintendo’s goals with Smash Bros. DLC. In their 2019 Investor’s Meeting, when discussing Smash Ultimate, it was stated that:
”Nintendo” said:
With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we asked 'How could we reach not only fans of the Super Smash Bros. series, but also those who had never played it before?'
Nintendo wants to reach both core fans of Smash Bros. while also bringing in new fans. Inclusions such as Joker and Hero are warranted to draw in new fans, but Nintendo seems to want to balance these characters with appeals to the core fanbase such as Banjo & Kazooie. As previously established, Phoenix Wright would both appeal to core fans and draw in new fans due to the large collective install base of the franchise spread over a large amount of platforms over the years.
Phoenix Wright is in an odd place when it comes to speculation. On one hand, he seems to be a popular pick for third parties in general, but on the other hand, he seems to also be overlooked in favor of other Capcom characters. I believe that the Ace Attorney franchise is popular enough within the core Smash Bros./Nintendo fanbase and has a large enough casual following to justify Phoenix Wright’s inclusion as a member of the Fighters pass. Overall, Phoenix Wright is definitely not a character you want to sleep on.

The defense rests its case.
 
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Great post, tehponycorn tehponycorn ! That was a great read. I won't quote it to make it easier for mobile users, but here are a few comments:

- In the section where you talk about past characters with "adapted" movesets. I am in agreement with the things you said, but I think it's important to make a few distinctions:

  • A lot of people use :ultgnw: as an example of how any game character can be adapted into Smash, but he is, as you said, just a collection of different Game & Watch games that compose his source material.
  • With :ultincineroar:: Sun and Moon was released in 2016, about two years before Smash Ultimate. Give or take SM's development time, I think it is unlikely that they made his moveset without the character being finalized for his own game, like the other examples you placed along with him. Considering Incineroar was the last base game character and that Sakurai basically admitted they were keeping a slot open for a Gen 8 Pokémon, his source material was likely already done and he was a bit of a last-minute addition, like :ultjigglypuff:, :ulttoonlink: and :ultwolf: in Brawl.
  • Finally, the Miis are combatants in certain games, but Sakurai opted to give them a fully original moveset so they could be custom characters for Smash.

- One addition to Phoenix's chances when compared to other Capcom characters:

When it comes to popularity or sales, there are eight Capcom franchises currently bigger than AA. We can discard Mega Man and Street Fighter due to already being in Smash and also Marvel Vs. Capcom... for obvious reasons. That leaves us with: Onimusha, Dead Rising, Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter and Resident Evil.
  • Onimusha and Dead Rising have none of the Nintendo relationship Phoenix has. Additionally, they each have a specific point against them: Onimusha was dormant for two very long periods. The remaster of Warlords in 2019 being their first release in seven years and Onimusha as a whole is just barely bigger than AA in sales, enough for it to be negligible in the long run (AA has 7.1M, Onimusha has 8.3M, basically 1.2M difference. Source is Capcom's japanese sales data on their website). Dead Rising is from the horror genre and, if Sakurai wanted something in that vein, I can't see it being picked over Resident Evil, especially since both belong to Capcom.
  • Devil May Cry would normally be a contender, but Dante has been deconfirmed by Matt Walker via twitter. Unless we consider he's lying (very improbable), that's another one down.
  • Finally, Monster Hunter already has base game content in Smash. while their chances aren't zero, getting the rights for a third party franchise and then using only a part of it in base game and another in DLC... isn't exactly how Sakurai operates, save for Mii Costumes. A lot of people feel like if we were to get a playable Hunter, they would have come in the base game along with Rathalos.
That leaves only Ace Attorney and Resident Evil as top contenders for another Capcom character. There are others series, sure, like Darkstalkers, Okami, Viewtiful Joe, etc, but... only Okami seems to have a big amount of fan demand behind it, and even then that demand is smaller than the one for Phoenix Wright. Could still happen, but it would be very left field.

Finally, in regards to fan demand in the Smash community... I obviously can't link every poll I've ever seen, but in most of them, Phoenix was the most requested Capcom character, despite not dominating any polls. I feel like that contributes, as you pointed out, to a bigger overlap between the active Smash supporters and the casual "silent majority".
 
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